I’m J.L. Baldwin and I’m happy to be here. H.C. Bentley has graciously allowed me to pop in here and talk about myself for just a little bit. Well, I don’t actually like talking about myself, so how about I talk about my writing instead?
I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense. My first book came out in 2015, and even though it’s no longer available online, I still feel very strongly about that book and what it started for me. From the time I was young, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be an astronaut, but that required way too much math. Haha! I’ve always loved storytelling and losing myself in a great book, and I know that’s where my love of writing came from. I wrote my very first short story when I was eleven or twelve, and I knew in my heart that was going to set the stage for how my future was going to be.
One of my favorite things about writing is being able to create characters and worlds and having the ability to literally create something out of thin air has always been very appealing for me. I don’t do it for the reviews or the money, I do it because I love it. And I think that’s how all writers should be, right?
Believe me, being a published author is the best thing ever. It’s the first thing I think about as soon as I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep at night. To say it has taken over my life is a huge understatement. In a way, that’s good. But that is also bad. Where it is bad, has caused severe burnout and anxiety. So, to anybody out there who has thought about writing a book or has written a book, don’t be like me. Don’t let it consume your every waking minute because it can cause anxiety and worst of all, burnout.
But enough with the heavy! I’m here to talk about good and happy things. Positive vibes, and all that!
Let’s talk about world building and character development because those are two things that I actually struggle with. I tend to use real cities but create fake businesses within them, and my characters range from anywhere. I’ve used real people as inspiration, even though I tend not to do that anymore. It just gets complicated with mixing that real person with the fictional person.
I have books I want to write where the main focus of the story is based in a certain town or location, usually local to me so I can get a feel for that town. For example, Racing Christmas is based out of eastern Tennessee. I drove through there last year and was immersed in that world again because it’s what I created in that book. It felt so good to drive through a place I had only written about.
Having good characters and a good fictional world makes all the difference in the story. At least it does in my opinion. I’m always learning about different elements of writing, and I love sharing what I have learned with everyone on my social media channels.
You can find me on all the socials under @authorjlbaldwin
Thanks for having me! It was so much fun!